Report from China: Op-Ed by Robert U. Ayres
In December I travelled to the city of Kunming, in Yunnan province, China. The occasion of the trip was to attend a conference on planning and give a talk on economics at that conference. The host was the newly appointed provincial Governor, who is also the Communist Party Chairman for Yunnan. The organizer was the former chief planner for Singapore, and the attendees were academics and civil servants in the urban planning departments from all of the major cities of organizer was the former chief planner for Singapore, and the Yunnan province. I was invited on short notice (only two weeks) and I was asked to provide a copy of my talk in advance, without much detailed information about the actual situation. What I did know about China was more applicable to Beijing and Shanghai than to Kunming. So, I had to “punt”, as they say.
I’ve been meaning to respond on other issues as well so I’ve added in some thoughts about taxis.
Congestion contributes to both public health and environmental emergencies. My understanding is that global warming and its effects are the new mobility paradigm, rather than smart phone apps and their technological interface with mobility. In fact, by focusing on ride-sharing apps, many people are even further marginalized.
The public needs an evolutionary viable alternative that will significantly reduce Vehicle Miles Travelled (VMT). The new “ride-sharing” taxis do not do this in any significant way and they are not “sharing”, (a misnomer), when they are not truly shared .
All taxis should be mandated to be shared by passengers, transporting to their maximum capacity. The public can easily hail a taxi from designated service-side areas (remember the simple change through paint?) or use their ride-sharing apps. Will this change public transport? Certainly it will, and it can even enhance it because with this system, one can now get to the bus stop, train station, and the proverbial first and last mile.
I applaud Paris’s efforts but I disagree with both the City Engineer and you, Eric. If true alternatives existed, smart people would of course use them, but to date, they don’t exist in most cities in significant quantities and so we have ubiquitous congestion, and public health and environmental emergencies. Insufficient alternative transport is certainly a reality in most cities contributing to congestion and this is why the “ride-sharing” “non-taxi” apps, an alternative, have exploded, but once again, some people are further marginalized as they are excluded from using apps for many reasons.
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Ann Hackett – firstname.lastname@example.org
The TMAP Planners Toolbox:
To take full advantage of the fundamental structural differences between Old and New Mobility, it can help to reflect on the five necessary different steps of analysis and action suggested by the expression TMAP – which sets out four alternative views or ways of bridging space, which of course is what transportation is supposed to be all about. These are the essential building blocks of a full-function sustainable mobility plan for your city. If you have not integrated the best of each of these essential steps into your plan, it is time for a bit of continuing education.
Basic principles and strategies of the New Mobility Agenda
The shift from old to new mobility is not one that turns its back on the importance of high quality mobility for the economy and for quality of life for all. It is not and should not be seen as a step down in terms of life quality.
The TMAPP Planners Toolbox:
To take full advantage of the fundamental structural differences between Old and New Mobility, it can help to reflect on the five necessary different steps of analysis and action suggested by the expression TMAPP – which sets out five alternative views or ways of bridging space, which of course is what transportation is supposed to be all about. These are the essential building blocks of a full-function sustainable transport plan for your city. If you have not integrated the best of each of these essential steps into your plan, it is time for a bit of continuing education.
Gridlock on 405 Freeway in West Los Angeles captured by AIR7 HD.
Oh I see, a thinking exercise
The obvious answer is to add more lanes.
Or is it?
World Streets: Happy Thanksgiving 2016
PS. And oh yes, it just so happens that we do know how to take care of that one.
World Streets is pleased to introduce to our 4419 international readers signed in from 149 countries from all continents, a valuable reference source for transportation and city planners, public agencies, researchers, environmentalists, students, NGOs, companies, transporters and others who are looking for new ways to get around in our daily lives, hopefully with more and better choices. The Shared Mobility Primer from the University of California, Berkeley’s Transportation Sustainability Research Center offers a practical guide with resources, information, and tools for local governments and public agencies seeking to implement emerging services or to manage existing shared mobility services.
* Recommended reading for anyone who aspires to catch up quickly on what is going on in the evolution of thinking and practice concerning transport planning, policy and practice in cities in this very different 21st century. New rules! Excerpts from Bruce McVean’s The New City lecture given on 11th February 2013 at Cambridge University’s Department of Architecture. Title to this piece borrowed from Taras Grescoe in Straphanger
Think of this as an Executive Summary in a single page to identify and clarify policy for a core element of a very complex urban system of many parts and linkages. In fact, the very one we are attempting to deal with here: the impacts of the many too many cars syndrome. But what is we treat this as a step in a useful direction.
Paris mayor’s attempt to curb traffic along Seine leaves some commuters fuming
Mayor Anne Hidalgo called move ‘historic’; opposition decried it as ‘autocratic’
By Michelle Gagnon, CBC News, Oct 01, 2016 – http://www.cbc.ca/news/world/paris-cars-gagnon-1.3786615
CBC reporter and producer Michelle Gagnon came to Paris to enquire about the Paris plan to retire parts of a city highway and turn it into a carless, truckless, busless urban walk, linger, bike and play way. Her article opens like this:
– – – > Comments here: https://goo.gl/Guwn2V
What are the actual costs off building bigger, wider, fast and more roads for Penang: Let’s start by hearing two conflicting and in many ways typical opinions:
Important announcement: Mobility has been priced to move. Available in both paper and eBook form for less than USD 10.00. See http://tinyurl.com/zxclcz4
(Thank you John for thinking about students, fund-strapped NGOs and readers in developing, smaller cities with tight budgets.)
John Whitelegg, Professor John Whitelegg, is a remarkable man. He has spent his entire professional life as a scholar, teacher, critic, publisher, activist and politician, trying to make sense out of our curious world and the contradictions of transport and mobility. And in a successful attempt to bring all the threads together, what he has learned about our topic in three decades of international work spanning all continents, he has just produced for our reading and instruction a remarkable and, I truly believe, much-needed book. His title gives away the game – Mobility: Transport Planning Philosophy for a Sustainable Future.
Whereas Car Free Days have been organized in cities around the world all over the year for the last two-plus decades, there is inevitably a spate of high activity in the month of September, much of it the result of the European Commission’s continuing commitment to both the concept of Car Free Days and their own European Mobility Week. And each year we here at World Streets dig into our archives and dust off one or two of the classics as a timely reminder of the fact that the Car Free Day concept has been around and doing its bit since the first international CFD challenge was made in Toledo Spain on 19 October 1994.